Personalities | Generation X | Seventies | Rock
(Vocal/instrumental group, 1976–81)
A London punk band consisting of Billy Idol (William Broad, vocals), Tony James (bass), Bob Andrews (guitar) and Mark Laff (drums), Generation X were viewed with suspicion by the punk cognoscenti for their pop leanings and failure to toe the party line. They scored a Top 20 hit with ‘King Rocker’ in 1979 but otherwise their success was limited, and after three albums (one as Gen X) they split up.
After the split Billy Idol moved to New York and began a solo career. Working with guitarist and songwriter Steve Stevens, he recorded the album Rebel Yell (1984). ‘White Wedding’, ‘Eyes Without A Face’ and the title track became MTV staples, establishing him as a solo superstar in America. Whiplash Smile (1986) was similarly popular. Idol was involved in a serious motorcycle crash shortly before 1990’s Charmed Life. Cyberpunk (1993) flopped and was his last album for 12 years.
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